UAE-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) and France’s Technip have won a joint contract to develop offshore early production facilities on Abu Dhabi’s Upper Zakum field.

The estimated $800m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was officially awarded on 5 July by operator Zakum Development Company (Zadco).

The project, known as ‘EPC1’, will handle the construction of offshore section of Zadco’s scheme to boost oil production at its Upper Zakum field.

NPCC and Technip submitted the lowest offer on the contract in March, beating the US’ McDermott and Italy’s Saipem. The commercial proposals were submitted more than a year after the scheme was first tendered. Technical proposals were submitted in May 2011.

The onshore ‘EPC2’ section, which covers the construction of processing and other facilities on artificial islands, is now in the bidding stage. The deadline for commercial proposals has been delayed until late July or early August, according to contractors.

Zadco plans to boost output at the offshore Upper Zakum reservoir to 750,000 barrels a day (b/d) from the current 500,000 b/d by adding offshore production facilities. The first phase of facilities will increase output by 100,000 b/d.

Zadco is a joint venture of state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), US oil major ExxonMobil and Japan Oil Development Company.